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Murder on 22nd st

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  • Murder on 22nd st

    Patron Killed in Shooting at Chelsea Club - Tuesday

    NY Times May 24th - A bouncer opened fire Tuesday night at a Chelsea nightclub, killing one and injuring three, the police and witnesses said.

    The shooting occurred just before midnight at Opus 22 Cafe and Lounge at 559 West 22nd Street, near 11th Avenue.

    Witnesses said a fight started as one event was ending at the club and another group was coming in. The bouncer told one of the patrons to leave the club, a witness said, but he refused.

    The fight spilled out into the street, and the bouncer shot the patron in the chest, then shot three others before fleeing the scene.

    NEW YORK (AP) May 26th ? A bouncer accused of killing a man and wounding three others outside a lounge was arraigned on a murder charge Thursday, as police continued to investigate whether he was involved in other slayings. Stephen Sakai, 30, of Brooklyn, faces charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault in the Tuesday night shootings outside the Opus 22 lounge in the Chelsea neighborhood.

    I am surprised, there has not been a posting about the above incident.(or I missed it).

    Our City needs to ensure background checks are being performed on all types of security personnel who are involved with handling the public. The above, bouncers may have confessed to 3 other murders and Opus 22 didn't care enough to check oh his background.

    Does anyone have information on what type of security firms and what type of information bars/clubs require before hiring bouncers?

  • #2
    Re: Murder on 22nd st

    I also wrote to our Community Board and below is the resposnse.

    "The Board has been working with our police precinct and our local elected officials on this matter, and we are indeed extremely concerned about this act of violence, and the general problems raised by having so many nightclubs in such a small area. However, you should be aware that this particular bouncer had in fact undergone a thorough background check. He had no criminal record. And he was properly licensed by the State, as is already required of all bouncers by existing State law.
    Thank you for expressing your concerns - I will pass them on to our Business Licenses and Permits Committee."


    • #3
      Re: Murder on 22nd st

      Good job on the letter Bob. And by the way - thanks for posting this. I hadn't actually heard this story until I saw your post! I'm just wondering has anyone noticed the city seems to be going back to pre-Giuliani days. I'm seeing more and more homeless people and hearing about more murders in Manhattan - which were almost unheard of in the Giuliani years. Is it just my imagination?

      Also, looks like the State licensing department needs to do a better job as this guy has admitted to murdering two other people last year in Brooklyn, I think. Saw that in NY1 this morning.

      Can you imagine if you were related to or a friend of the person who was killed. I'd be so furious at this place for hiring him. I don't see how a guy who has now admitted to killing two other people a year ago couldn't have any kind of criminal record in his whole entire life. Usually a murderer commits other less serious crimes before they get to the big one and usually they've been caught on something at some point in their lives.


      • #4

        New York Post article-

        May 28, 2006 -- Chelsea's nightclub capacity has increased ten-fold in the last five years, bringing a wave of drunken revelers and a surge in crime.

        A rash of high-profile incidents in the neighborhood - where patron capacity in the heart of its club district has ballooned from 1,019 in 2001 to 10,446 now - has pushed crime up 9 percent in the 10th Precinct.

        That's the biggest crime spike this year in any Manhattan precinct, and the fifth highest in the city.

        Between Jan. 1 and May 21, assaults increased 33 percent to 53 compared to the same time period last year. Burglaries were up, 34 percent to 83; grand larceny, 23 percent to 306; and auto theft, 33 percent to 40.

        There have been two murders in the Chelsea precinct so far this year - including last week's slaying of club patron Gustavo Cuadros - the same as last year through May 21. Rapes have remained level at five.

        Many in the neighborhood blame the area's nightlife for the trend - and it's gotten the attention of the State Liquor Authority, which slapped 58 clubs and gin mills with a total of 334 violations between Jan. 1 and May 21. That's nearly double the 178 summonses the agency issued all of last year.

        "We need more cops," said Miguel Acevedo, a Community Board 4 member. "Thousands of people descend on us every weekend."

        The trouble included the following incidents:

        * May 23: Bouncer Stephen Sakai allegedly opens fire outside Opus 22, killing Cuadros and injuring three.

        * May 21: A man dies outside Spy Bar after a punch to the head.

        * May 11: A man is shot and killed near the West Side Highway after an altercation at Avalon.

        * April 22: A girl leaving Copacabana is killed by a hit-and-run driver.

        * April 12: New York Giants cornerback Frank Walker is mugged at gunpoint while leaving Sol.

        * March 31: Police shut down Spirit, Avalon, Club Deep, Splash and View after a sting operation shows illegal activity.

        * June 26, 2005: A knife-toting predator rapes a woman at 4 a.m. after she loses track of two friends at Cain.

        * May 16, 2005: A bathroom attendant at the now-closed Coral Room allegedly rapes a patron in a bathroom stall and tries to force her to perform oral sex.

        * Oct. 31, 2004: A woman leaving a Halloween party at Crobar at 6 a.m. is pulled into a car and raped at knifepoint.

        The top cop for the area likens central Chelsea to Times Square - and says clubs competing for customers have been staying open until 6 a.m., which they're allowed to do as long as no booze is served after 4 a.m.

        "The problem is we've reached the saturation point with nightclubs," said Capt. Stephen Hughes, commander of the 10th Precinct, who's pushing for late-night parking restrictions to ease the crush.


        • #5
          Re: Murder on 22nd st

          Guys, I think if you look at the gross numbers, it won't sound so bad. A 33% increase in assaults... sounds bad, but 53 assaults almost half way through the year vs. 40? In a neighborhood as big as this one with as many tourist, club goers, etc.? That’s nothing! All the other crimes listed were similar. That's pretty safe in my book for a large neighborhood on an island inhabited by 1.5 million people!


          • #6
            Re: Murder on 22nd st

            Has anyone noticed the Police State that occupies 21st street on weekends? The actually shut down the entire block, and staff the place with cops and vehicles, including horses. Not only is this a very freaky inconvenience to have a whole block of the neighborhood shut down and covered in cops, but it appears all this is coming at taxpayer expense, benefitting these ridiculous night-clubs who should be paying for their own security!

            As a long time resident and business owner in the immediate neighborhood, I find the whole thing infuriating. Bloomberg should NOT be letting these nasty places get a free ride on taxpayer security, from thugster destination Duvet, to the vile 'Porky's' where throngs of 'Animal House' trash from Staten Island and Larchmont descend on the block to be disgusting, to this new 'Citrine' with it's 9' tall bouncer and velvet ropes clogging the sidewalk.

            With all the retail closings of really great stores, one can only hope these rowdy places that really do deserve to disappear actually bite the dust, but not likely.

            I propose this letter to the hideous clubs on 21st street:

            Exactly why do you and your colleagues get to close down 21st st. every Friday & Saturday PM at taxpayer expense? Are you PAYING for all this extra police protection? Are you PAYING for use of the sidewalk so you can have your absurd theatrics with the 8' tall bouncer, the velvet ropes and the patronizing, pretentious, illegally selective bigotry as to who gets in while hundreds are left to clog the street with the crowds of the rejected?

            Your requirement that the street be shut down is a vast inconvenience to the neighborhood.

            Your requirement that the city hire huge numbers of police with vehicles and horses to police a street which YOU should be paying to police, amounts to a tax on the rest of us who are paying for this.

            Citizens deserve an explanation as to how you feel you are justified in requiring 21st street to be shut down at public expense, because of unruly crowds your tasteless, obnoxious business attracts.

            You need to supply the other residents of the community with an explanation, and a list of what you are doing to reimburse the city for the vastly expensive services your establishment requires, and how you are remunerating the neighborhood for the inconvenience of closing down a whole block, and forcing a police-state on 21st St. every weekend.